Day 47 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Story Ballets
Over the past century, ballet lovers have flocked to see the classic story ballets like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppelia and Nutcracker. They’ve lasted thru the modern and abstract ballets and will probably continue in popularity for decades to come.
A new series of full-length story or narrative ballets is emerging. Choreographers are using Disney-esque ideas and popular books as resources to create. The trick is to translate stories into the wordless medium of ballet; hence the need for mime.
Christopher Wheeldon, in January, 2014’s Dance magazine says, “Choreographers gravitate to fantasy, escape and romance because these are themes that work in the pointe shoe.” They are doing as many directors do, changing up the centuries-old story lines and moving them forward to modern time. This creates the need for new scores as well as how to use the musicians: on stage, in the pit or backstage. It invites new costuming and sets as well. It’s an exciting turn of events, promising faster-paced music and choreography with an ever-expanding use of more gymnastic movement added to the mix.
Guess we shouldn’t expect a series of ballets about Mad Men or Downton Abbey just yet, but one choreographer created a successful ballet based on A Streetcar Named Desire. What books, music, news or TV programs do you think would transfer to a ballet?